Are NHS workers getting a 4% pay rise?
26th Apr 2017
Half of NHS staff will see an average pay increase of 4%.
Correct for 2016/17 according to the NHS Pay Review Body, although we haven’t seen the figures in full. Pay levels have been frozen at 1%, but individuals will be entitled to more money as they move up pay bands.
“I see today that [Jeremy Corbyn] is talking about paying for extra wage increases in the NHS. I think we should first of all recognise actually that for people working in the NHS around half of those staff, because of progression and basic pay increases, will actually see on average a pay increase of 4%.”
Theresa May, 26 April 2017
But that cap doesn’t necessarily reflect the earnings of individual NHS workers. As people move up pay bands, they will earn more even though the salary for that pay band hasn’t moved much.
On the specifics of her figure, Mrs May might be referring to a report last month from the NHS Pay Review Body. It researches and makes recommendations on the pay of staff employed in the NHS except doctors, dentists and “very senior managers”. The report said that:
“The changes in earnings over time experienced by individual[s]... can be very different to trends in average pay due to pay progression, career progression, geographical movement and changes in personal working patterns. For example, slightly more than half (54 per cent) of NHS staff in England were due to receive pay increments of around 3 to 4 per cent on average in 2016/17 in addition to the 1 per cent pay award.”
We’ve asked the Department of Health about the figures.
This average includes all staff, from consultants to cleaners, so there’s a lot of variation. It’s also the mean, so a few people earning a lot can make it much higher.
Doctors earned an average of £76,000, ambulance staff £36,000, and nurses, midwives and health visitors £31,000.
On the non-clinical side cleaners and maintenance staff earned an average of £17,000, managers £49,000 and senior managers £76,000.
Update 15 May 2017
We added in that the Liberal Democrats are pledging to end the pay cap.
This fact check is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions, factchecked. Read the roundup.